July 25, 2023

• Year-to-year milk production for June was down 0.02% at 18.9 million pounds, according to USDA’s Milk Production report. Production per cow was steady and cow numbers in the United States were down only slightly from last year.

• Low milk prices and high feed costs drove milk production downward in the Southwest, with New Mexico showing the biggest drop of 7.1% from June 2022. Conversely, South Dakota made the greatest leap in year-to-year milk production at 6.9%.

• According to the USDA’s Cattle on Feed report, cattle and calves on feed for the slaughter market in the U.S. for feedlots with capacity of 1,000 head or more was 11.2 million head as of July 1, which is 2% less than last year. Placements into feedlots during June were up 3% at 1.68 million head.

• The number of beef cows in the U.S. was 29.4 million head as of July 1. This is 3% less than the previous year.

• The University of Nebraska Extension released a report that provides custom service rates related to livestock production, including information on haying and baling.

July 18, 2023

• Ask yourself these questions before fertilizing perennial warm-season grasses.

Grazing woodlands can have negative effects on tree and soil health.

• Planting date, species selection, and feeding method are just a few factors to consider before growing annual forages during drought.

• Learn about the costs and benefits of regenerative agriculture.

• Think ahead to winter feeding management.

July 11, 2023

• Alfalfa hay exports to all trade partners totaled 167,159 metric tons (MT) in May, according to the USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service. This is down 31% compared to a year ago, but up roughly 13% from April. Through May, exports of alfalfa hay in 2023 were down 32% compared to 2022.

• China imported 49,943 MT of U.S. alfalfa hay during May, down 122,338 MT it imported last year. To follow, Saudi Arabia imported 40,351 MT of U.S. alfalfa hay and Japan imported 40,316 MT. This represented a much higher total for Saudi Arabia and a much lower total for Japan compared to 2022.

• Be careful around forage harvest equipment.

• Reports of clover root curculio pop up in Kentucky.

• There are forage options for drought-stressed corn.

July 4, 2023

• Harvested hay acre projections are up, according to the USDA June Acreage report. Total harvested hay acres are pegged at 51.9 million, which is 4.9% higher than 2022 and 2.6% greater than the initial March estimate.

• Harvested alfalfa and alfalfa mixture acreage is forecasted at nearly 15.7 million, which is almost 5% greater than last year. Nonalfalfa acre projections remain steady at 36.3 million.

• The USDA Acreage report predicted corn acres to reach 94.1 million this year, up 6% from last year and the third highest corn acreage in the United States since 1944. Additionally, area harvested for grain is up 9% from last year at 86.3 million acres.

• Take this advice to price standing forage.

• The good, the bad, and the ugly of sweetclover.